January 30, 2012

4 days off…

And still I want more.

We had our pool party for Australia Day. Fabulous filet steak on the barbeque for lunch, wine flowing… paella for dinner, Hottest 100 on the radio, surrounded by friends. Friday we didn’t do much – I don’t think. Saturday we didn’t do much either, I don’t think? Lunch at the pub, I dusted off my books to start studying, a bit of swimming, dinner at home, tv at night, nothing much. Today we did some shopping, a few t.shirts, another swimming costume, went to a baby-shower in the afternoon at the local bar!*$!”!! (only in Australia) and then some swimming, some studying, some catching up on some reading, a quick salad for dinner before some TV and some tennis. And tomorrow is Monday….

Again.

Last year flew by, and this year is looking like it’s gearing up to flash by even faster…

filles at 12:13 am

Comments Off on 4 days off…

January 25, 2012

Australia Day

Tomorrow.

We’re supposed to drink Aussie wines or strip.

That’s the dare put out by Wine Australia.

I wonder if you drink mostly Aussie wines, but throw in a few bottles of champers whilst listening to Triple J’s Hot 100 and swimming in the rain – we’d get an exemption from stripping?

Or not.

filles at 11:47 pm

Comments Off on Australia Day

January 24, 2012

She came, she saw, she’s still here…

It was a fast & busy weekend followed by work on Monday. I’ve got 2 mins to catch up on emails from Christmas before I head out to do groceries, check on Lucy and then study – before meeting the architect at the apartment at 5, prepare dinner, then head out to a tasting at 9.30pm of Yarra chardonnay.

Work has taken a back seat.  Not so good. Not so many hours, not so much appreciation. I suspect my vision is not the guiding light. However, for the moment it’s head down bum up, do the best job I can and keep my opinions to myself. Ultimately our goals are the same, so their must be a way for us all to work well in harmony.

Have we drunk anything spectacular lately? Not that I can recall.  We had a very ordinary St Joseph, same of a Californian sparkling wine – I did come up against a Moet & Chandon Brut in a blind tasting and actually quite enjoyed it, which is good to know.

A couple of weeks ago we had an amazing syrah from Cortona, Italy. Stefano Amerighi, an organic, unfiltered syrah 2008. Lovely.  Actually that night we did drink well… a d’Meure 2005 pinot from Tasmania – which was good but a bit too much VA for me, a Man O’ War Dreadnaught 2008 from Waiheke Island, New Zealand and a Ca de Noci Vendemmia from Italy – a lightly petillant, very dry white.

filles at 8:51 am

Comments Off on She came, she saw, she’s still here…

January 18, 2012

Erica is coming

We have a guest arriving tonight… all the way from NY! Can’t wait.  I’m up early getting the guest room ready, doing my sunshine dance, and next chore – cleaning the pool.

filles at 6:20 am

Comments Off on Erica is coming

January 16, 2012

so…

The interview went well, well enough that Wine Australia have offered me opportunities to work with them on some promotions of Australian wine, but not well enough to win the scholarship. Surprisingly I’m not disappointed at all. It was great to even be included in the process.  As my friend David says (who was also in the running) it was less a scholarship and more a sponsorship since the altruistic side was obviously missing.

Tonight I have my tasting group.  7 people. 9 sparkling wines. Blind.

I’ve got to get moving or I’ll be late for work.  Have a good week.

filles at 7:29 am

Comments Off on so…

January 10, 2012

Wine Australia Scholarship

I’ve got an interview tomorrow morning with Wine Australia.  I was selected based on my exam results from WSET Level 3 to compete for a scholarship that involves an all expenses paid tour of the wine regions of Australia with other successful applicants from Asia in March, 2012.

It would be a great honour to become an Ambassador for Australian wine, particularly as we travel the world and I spend so much time around European & American wine.  Australian wine is up there.  We more than compete, we just have to get our story out.  Show the world our history, our passion and the wine that makes us proud.

Interview at 8.30am.  Fingers crossed.

filles at 9:21 pm

Comments Off on Wine Australia Scholarship

January 8, 2012

Torchwood

I’ve become addicted to Torchwood.  I was watching it when we lived in Paris… just a random program on TV but in ENGLISH.  That was enough to catch my attention.  Now, Season 1 is being shown on the ABC or at least on iView, and then yesterday I discovered the first 3 seasons are on BBC iView. It’s a Torchwood fiesta only I’m supposed to be studying.

Top it off, there is a mosquito in the bedroom that is being very elusive.  Just as I’m about to drop off to sleep he buzzes right by my ear. Light goes on, arms flail and he’s gone. I’ve sprayed myself with insect repellent – he’ll never survive.  But I’ll never sleep either…. the stench is so strong.

Goodnight.

filles at 12:27 am

Comments Off on Torchwood

January 3, 2012

Home sweet home

We’re back.

We had a great new years eve with mum & Pete in Snug.  Slow roasted pork on the weber, with pink eyes and carrots.  Followed by a very gooey, runny, tasty double brie from Tassie.  New Years day we went to the movies, checked out all the sailing boats that had come in and then headed to Taste of Tasmania for dinner and drinks.  Another great evening.  Then on the 2nd, we hung about, had the best fish n’ chips of the trip at the ferry terminal in Kettering and then flew home.

Michelle is on holidays for another week, I went back to work today (the times they are a’changing..).  The weather is gorgeous in Sydney we’ve been hanging about in the sun, swimming in our pool all afternoon and plan to continue doing so all evening.

Anyone fancy a swim or a visit? Last chance this summer….  as I said.  The times they are changing.

filles at 5:59 pm

Comments Off on Home sweet home

January 1, 2012

Snug

The trip started well. Dinner at the Black Cow Bistro in Launceston was amazing. The most perfect blue steak, some truffle bernaise sauce, roasted fennel and rocket salad… divine. Followed by a day of visiting wineries, Native Point, Leaning Church, Brook Eden, Janz, Pipers Brook, Bay of Fires and finished with Arras… and a late disgorged bottle of their celebrated 1999 vintage…

We were staying at some friends of the family who I haven’t seen since I was about 18, they were in Norway and we had free reign of the house in Beauty Point north of Launceston. A sunny & relaxing Christmas day with off the boat fresh lobsters, prawns, salad and the best ever pavlova. The pavlova was so good it kept us going for 3 days…

We took some chipolatas and salad with us for a BBQ in the park at Low Head, and then at 9pm we went to see the fairy penguins surf in to feed their babies. How magnificent! They surf in, waddle up the sand, and regurgitate their catch for the two babies waiting eagerly in the bushes.

That was Christmas.

Boxing day we headed off to see the platypuses & echidnas at the platypus house which was mildly disappointing, before setting off to pick up our campervan. When booking with Brumby Campervans we did think perhaps that we may chosen the backpacker version and that it might not be the most modern of campervans, but whatever, it’s only 10 days. We had great customer service leading up to the holiday, but nothing could have prepared us for the sight of the pathetic van that stood before us. It was old, dirty, rusty and sad. The curtains had seen better days and the clutch was so low I had to sit up on top of the steering wheel just to reach it. Whatever, it will be an adventure.

Then we discovered the sliding door had no roller, you had to drag it closed with an accompanying screech.

We asked for a refund…

Long story short, we didn’t take that refund and we headed off into the distance following mum & Pete and their super modern A van. They zoomed off in the dust while we plodded along sitting on the speed limit with caravan and trucks and old lady drivers passing us one after another.

When we pulled into the next town we were challenged about our speed… It turns out our Tassie Devil campervan was actually only sitting on 79 in a 100km/hr zone despite the speedometer clearly up around the 100. Again… whatever, slow is good. We checked into a caravan park, pulled out all the linen.. reasonably clean, we’ll survive.

A couple of wines, a lovely steak on the Barbie and we decide to sort out the bed. When we determined that only half the bed was in the van and that we would have to sleep on our suitcases and the fact that we couldn’t close the door from the inside… it was game over and I called the company to tell them we’ll be returning their pathetic van the next day.

So the next day we had to drive straight to Hobart. The woman we had dealt with on booking, Jane, was very sorry. Her husband on the other hand was rude, arrogant and had no customer service skills whatsoever. He accused us of lying essentially, he didn’t believe us regarding the speedometer, we had to wait for him to take the van for a 10 minute drive making small talk, before he returned to tell us that yes, doing 100 was actually only 80 but what did it matter we would never get booked like that! The fact that the van was 11 years old and looked it, despite stating in the booking terms ALL vans were between 3-8 years old, that we didnt have all the pieces to make the bed and that he had actually ruined our campervan holiday plans by us having to zoom to Hobart in one day when we had planned to do it in 4… all in all unsatisfactory. We hitched a ride, booked a cabin at the Snug caravan park and we’ve been here ever since.

Not exactly the holiday we had planned but… whatever.

Despite all of that it’s been good. We saw the winners come in from the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, we had dinner at The Garagists, spent the day at MONA ate at The Source and visited The Taste Festival…. along with plenty of relax and resting time. Campervan holiday? Whatever.

filles at 12:27 pm

Comments Off on Snug